The National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) identifies three major goals emphasizing the importance of achieving a more coordinated national response to the HIV epidemic. The HRSA-funded Ryan White Program, AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETCs), have been a primary source of HIV education for healthcare providers since 1987, and, as a result, are in a particularly advantageous position to help move the National HIV/AIDS Strategy forward. Without a well-informed and skilled workforce, the goals of the NHAS cannot be achieved.
GOAL 1: REDUCING NEW HIV INFECTIONS
AETCs conducted 642 trainings and trained 22,669 health care providers focused on implementation of HIV testing recommendations. (AETC training data 2008‐2009)
- Provide cutting edge training programs about HIV transmission, prevalence, and prevention, with a focus on motivational interviewing skills and risk-reduction processes
- Help providers acquire individual prevention counseling and community education skills
- Create social marketing and education materials on HIV testing and HIV transmission that can be used by clinicians to start important conversations with patients
- Educate primary care providers to incorporate HIV prevention into clinical encounters and integrate prevention messages and communication into HIV clinical care settings
- Develop and implement initiatives with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to increase HIV testing in primary care settings, emergency departments, STD clinics, community health centers, and hospitals
GOAL 2: INCREASING ACCESS TO CARE AND IMPROVING OUTCOMES
AETCs have reached more than 148,000 healthcare providers through 19,300 training programs. (AETC training data 2008‐2009)
- Increase clinician HIV knowledge and clinical skills through quality training in the full spectrum of HIV care
- Link community-based providers with experts at academic medical centers
- Deliver clinical updates and provide continuous clinical guidance through consultation and mentoring so that DHHS guidelines can be integrated into everyday practice and providers keep abreast of the ever advancing science of HIV treatment
- Increase the HIV workforce and enable access to care by teaching community providers how to keep pace with current HIV treatment, make referrals to HIV care experts, establish consultation relationships, and support adherence to medications
- Provide clinicians nationally with free, prompt, state-of-the-art telephone consultation on prevention and management of HIV
- Collaborate and develop relationships to enable care in high need areas and settings, including federally funded community health centers, correctional facilities, homeless health programs, maternal and child health centers, mental health facilities, substance abuse treatment centers, and family planning programs
- Provide technical assistance to support the development of systems of care to assure that people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) have access to appropriate health care, including psychosocial support and intense mental health services substance use treatment
GOAL 3: REDUCING HIV‐RELATED HEALTH DISPARITIES AND INEQUITIES
In 2009, the AETC National Clinicians’ Consultation Center conducted 13,280 consultations with clinicians. (AETC training data 2008‐2009)
- Support healthcare professionals who provide services to communities of color, women, gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender people, prisoners, the homeless, drug users, and the uninsured with funding from the Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI)
- Engage and empower clinicians of color through mentoring and clinical training programs to provide HIV care and services
- Provide comprehensive HIV education to clinicians in high-risk communities to facilitate testing and earlier diagnosis
- Help providers develop methods to decrease stigma and discrimination in clinical practices and communities
- Disseminate information about prevalence and the need for prevention interventions to providers in high-risk communities
- Develop community-level approaches in all capacity building programs
44% of all AETC trainees are racial/ethnic minorities and 73% are women.
A Coordinated Response
The AETC network, by definition, provides a coordinated response to the training and education needs of the healthcare workforce in the HIV epidemic. It is an organized and structured mobilization of partnerships linking academic medical centers and leading clinical experts to address the needs of community clinicians serving diverse populations. For more than two decades, the AETCs have developed relationships with clinical care sites as well as with other training programs and agencies that focus on HIV infection. These relationships have produced timely and coordinated responses to changes in HIV care and implementation of new recommendations such as HIV testing. In addition, for the past 10 years the AETCs have partnered with other Federally-funded training centers to develop coordinated training interventions that reach a wider audience and avoid duplication of effort.
Over 80% of training participants working in HIV clinics worked at Ryan White‐funded organizations or clinics.
9,435 participants have been trained in collaboration with other Federally funded training initiatives. (AETC Training Data 7/2008- 6/2009)